Nikon (Vorobiov)

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Hegumen Nikon (secular name Nikolay Nikolayevich Vorobyov, Russian: Николай Николаевич Воробьёв; May 4, 1894, village Mikishino, Bezhetsk county, Tver Province - September 7, 1963, Gzhatsk, Smolensk oblast) was a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church (since 1956 in the rank of hegumen) and spiritual writer.

He is known for his numerous letters to his spiritual children, the majority of which are published in the book "Нам оставлено покаяние" (We were left behind the penance).


The future priest Nikon was born into a peasant family as one of seven brothers. From childhood, he demonstrated maturity and seriousness, impeccable honesty, remarkable warmth, concern for everyone, and an unquenchable thirst for ultimate truth, a thirst to comprehend the purpose of human existence.

In 1914, he graduated from school in Vyshny Volochok and enrolled in the Neurological Institute in Saint Petersburg. During his studies at the Institute he was distinguished by his pursuit of learning to further educate himself beyond the curriculum, trying to find answers to the eternal questions. After the first year, he decided not to continue his studies.

In the summer of 1915 Nikolay experienced a profound spiritual crisis and found faith in God. In 1917, he entered the Moscow Theological Academy, but the lessons there were soon discontinued because of the outbreak of the revolution. In the next few years he taught mathematics in Volochok high school. He then moved to Moscow and served as a reader in the Church of Sts Boris and Gleb.

In March 1931, he was tonsured as a monk by Bishop Theophan (Semenyako) in Minsk, with the name Nikon. December 26, 1932 was ordained to the priesthood.

March 23 1933 he was arrested and sent to Siberian camps for five years. He was released in 1937.

After returning from the camp, Nikon lived in Vyshny Volochok. From the beginning of the Great Patriotic War and the opening of temples Father Nikon began priestly ministry.

In 1944, he was appointed rector of the Church of the Annunciation in Kozelsk, where he served until 1948, by the Archbishop of Kalinin and Smolensk Basil.

In 1948 he was transferred to Belyov, then to Efremov (both - the Tula oblast), and after to Smolensk. From Smolensk he was sent to the parish in Gzhatsk.

In the Easter of 1956, father Nikon was elevated to the dignity of hegumen by bishop Michael (Chub).

Father Nikon died September 7, 1963. He was buried in the town of Gzhatsk (now called Gagarin).


  • Fight with all, with very small sins. He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. And the devil inspires: "It's nothing, it's a trifle" - and about more important: "Where do we deal with it? This is for the "ascetics"."
  • Let us thank the Lord for what He has chosen us out of this world, separated from it, and took in his portion. Glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee, O God! Lord, prolong Thy mercy to the end! - Separete and after the death us from Thine enemies, even though we do not deserve it, but for Thy mercy is not dismiss us from Thy presence! Vouchsafe us and with all the saints throughout the ages to thank and praise Thee for unfathomable Thy mercies to the human race and we, indecent Thy servants!
  • There is no heroism in us all. All of us are small, all are afraid of the big sorrows. We must pity everyone, sincerely wish and do more good. For with the same measure that we mete withal it shall be measured to us both here and in the future.
  • What is the essence of Christianity? In that the Almighty, the Omniscient Creator of the universe so loves and pities the person so concerned about him and his salvation that he gave His only begotten Son to shame, the cross and death.
  • All kinds of asceticism should lead a person to a deep humility. If its do not lead - the path has chosen is incorrect.
  • All deeds, all the good should lead to humility. And if its do not lead, its are poisoned by something. Without a humble and contrite heart, the most sublime and serious deeds are displeasing to God.
  • All of us are in the "worst prelest" in the words of St. Symeon the New Theologian, that is, in the dark, in error, in bondage to the devil. Only a few [of us] are released by Lord from this condition. How can a blind man lead the blind? And you teach everyone. Stop it!
  • Always be indifferent to praise. If you accept praise, and will quietly try to continue to please people, and you can seamlessly become a pharisee. Artists of all live of praise. The same happens with many of the clergy. And it ends with enmity and hatred. The Gospel teach it.
  • For the ill, infirm and old people there is no bodily fasting, and it is often harmful [for them]. It is necessary to stress mental fasting: vision, hearing, tongue, thoughts abstinence etc. It will be a true fast, useful always and for everyone.
  • it would be terrifying to be without prayer! Blessed is he who has managed to find it. Seek it and you. Without a personal quest and labour you are acquire nothing.